Bulletin! God Endorses Rendell
This just in, as reported by Michael Race in today's Scranton Tribune.
Minister: God Backs Rendell Re-election
During a voter awareness event in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday, the incumbent Democrat received word via a Lycoming County minister — a registered Republican, no less — that God has “decreed” he will be re-elected to a second term.
“I was a little stunned, to be honest,” a smiling governor said afterward.
The campaign bombshell was dropped by the Rev. Carl Vining, pastor of the nondenominational House of Judah Ministries in Montgomery and a chaplain-on-call for the state Senate.
As the reverend introduced Mr. Rendell to a packed Rotunda, he told those gathered that “the God of Israel” recently sent word through him on the outcome of this year’s gubernatorial election.
“The God of Israel said, ‘One more term,’” the Rev. Vining told Mr. Rendell.
The announcement sparked applause from some in attendance and chuckles from others.
The Rev. Vining later insisted it’s no joke.
“God spoke to me to tell Governor Ed Rendell that he was anointed by the God of Israel for another term,” he told a reporter. “That means he’s going to win the election.”
Did God give a reason?
“God has his own reasoning. It’s the will of our father in Heaven,” the Rev. Vining said.
The Rev. Vining said he has received similar decrees on other matters, usually more personal in nature.
He said this marked the first time he has received a message from a higher power regarding a gubernatorial election.
What effect will this surprise endorsement have on the race?
Political analysts were divided:
"Endorsements don't mean as much as they used to," said Terry Madonna, adding that even though he was named after the Blessed Virgin Mary, "it didn't make it any easier for me to get tenure."
Jon Delano said he doubted the Deity's endorsment would have an effect in western Pennsylvania, where Rendell's popularity is weakest. "You have to remember, the people out here are pretty dense," Delano said.
Delano said that God would have to send a clear sign that He is serious about His support for the Democratic incumbent.
"Forty days and forty nights of rain ought to do it," said Delano, "maybe followed by a a plague of locusts."
Meanwhile, Daily News columnist John Baer said he originally had doubts about God's endorsement of Rendell. Joked Baer: "I thought He only endorsed Republicans."
But, Baer said that he changed his mind when, in the midst of writing a skeptical column, his hair and teeth fell out. "Call me convinced," Baer wrote.
Tim Johnson, a spokesman for Lynn Swann, Rendell's Republican opponent, wondered out loud whether Rendell backers had pressured God to support the incumbent.
"This looks like just another example of the low and dirty tactics used by the Rendell campaign," Johnson complained.
Johnson then turned into a pillar of salt.
Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said he was genuinely surprised by the endorsement.
"In all my conversations with God, He's never mentioned Rendell," Santorum said.
Santorum told God "not to be too hasty" in endorsing any Democrats. He also warned God "not to go snooping around my Penn Hill's house."
Santorum was then struck by a bolt of lightning.
Meanwhile, dark and ominous storm clouds gathered over the Republican "T" and the National Weather Service issued a severe weather warning, calling for "periods of torrential rain, along with scattered brimstone."